Solitary confinement worse than death: Afzal

Solitary confinement worse than death: Afzal

Solitary confinement worse than death: Afzal

Afzal Guru

With the decision on his mercy petition prolonging, Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru has moved an application in Supreme Court seeking early disposal of his case, saying solitary confinement was worse than death.

Afzal has moved an application in the apex court in March seeking an early decision on his mercy petition which is pending with the government for the past four years, his lawyer N D Pancholi said.

During his last meeting with Afzal last week in Tihar jail, Pancholi said that the convict had told him that what he was "facing now is worse than death".

The death row convict has said he was "fed up with the solitary confinement" and the "delay" in deciding on his mercy petition, Pancholi said.

Pancholi said Afzal forwarded his application through Jail officials in March after his first plea sent personally in January was returned asking him to approach through the proper channel.

"Afzal's contention is that he is sentenced to death and not solitary confinement. He has said the delay was not helping him and a decision should be taken as soon as possible," the lawyer said, adding his client was very much "disturbed" over the delay in taking a decision.

"He is saying it is better that he is hanged. He is saying he be hanged and he is ready for that. For him, solitary confinement is not helping him," Pancholi said.

Afzal had also requested that he be shifted to a jail in Jammu and Kashmir so that his family can meet him.

His mercy petition has come into limelight following the 16th reminder sent by Union Home Ministry to Delhi government asking it to sent its response on his petition.

The Delhi government last week sent its views on his mercy petition file to the Lieutenant Governor Tejendar Khanna with comments that it had no objection to the hanging but its implications on law and order needed to be kept in mind.

Guru was awarded death sentence by a Delhi court on December 18, 2002 after being convicted of conspiracy to attack Parliament on December 13, 2001, waging war against the country and murder.

The death sentence was upheld by Delhi High Court on October 29, 2003 and his appeal was rejected by the Supreme Court two years later on August four, 2005.

A sessions court also fixed the date of his hanging on October 20, 2006 in Tihar jail.
Following this, Afzal filed a mercy petition with the President, who forwarded it to Union Home Ministry for its comments.

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